Every great critic has to have a “Ten Best” list of the year. And since our Kevin Carr is twice the man that most critics are — we decided to let him spew his “Ten Best” and “Ten Worst” films all in one article. Enjoy! — FSR Editor
The 10 Best Films of 2007:
1. No Country for Old Men
The Coen Brothers do it again. In a sea of films that plodded along and bored me to tears, this understated thriller kept me on the edge of my seat. Featuring Tommy Lee Jones in his best stock character and Javier Bardem as a psychotic killer, No Country for Old Men thrilled me and also made me think.
A critic friend of mine referred to this as the Little Miss Sunshine of 2007, and he’s absolutely right. This indie gem, featuring Ellen Paige in a breakout role and a biting script from Diablo Cody, managed to be both sarcastic and heartwarming at the same time.
3. King of Kong: A Fistfull of Quarters
As a child of the 80s, I fell in love with this off-kilter competition between two guys vying for the highest score in Donkey Kong history. I never thought I’d be on the edge of my seat watching someone play video games (or watching someone watching a videotape of someone playing video games), but it happened.
4. The Darjeeling Limited
Pretty much forgotten by critics and moviegoers (and its own studio come award season), Wes Anderson’s follow-up to The Life Aquatic took a minimalist approach and wove a warm yet dysfunctional story into something beautiful.
David Fincher redefined serial killer stories in the 1990s with his film Se7en. He did it again with Zodiac, which told the arduous and confusing tale of the search for the Zodiac killer.
I have gone to all-night movie marathons since I’ve been in high school, which is why I hold Grindhouse (the entire 3-hour-plus experience, not the individual parts) close to my heart. While it was considered a flop, it was a great way to relive my geeky high school and college days.
7. Black Snake Moan
I didn’t just choose this because Christina Ricci spent the majority of the film partially naked, but that definitely helped. This film was twisted enough to make me take notice, but it had a heart that I could not deny. Oh, and Sam Jackson as a cantankerous old blues man was cool too.
8. Resurrecting the Champ
It’s Sam Jackson again in a great little film that made very little noise. Josh Hartnett turns out a surprisingly good performance as a newspaper man trying to live up to his father’s name, only to be cause in a wash of controversy. This is a forgotten gem of 2007.
9. 28 Weeks Later
This summer was filled with happy-go-lucky ogres, superheroes and giant robots that smashed things. Yet, I managed to focus on this chilling film about the rage virus attacking the world… again.
Pixar did it again, with Brad Bird’s follow up to the awesome film The Incredibles. This film about a rat who wants to be a famous chef was cute enough for the kids yet had plenty in there for the adults as well.
The 10 Worst Films of 2007
1. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
After seeing this snoozefest, I remarked to a friend that there was no other movie that I’d rather see less a second time this year. Not only was this a dull, achingly pretentious film, but it ran for something like 7 hours… or at least it felt that way.
2. Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film For Theaters
I never got into the original television show, but the thought of bringing this obnoxious mess to the big screen was one of the worst ideas in the history of bad ideas. Honestly, this film killed my tastes for movies for at least a week.
3. In the Valley of Elah
This preachy anti-American mess was the lead in an award season filled with awful message movies about the war. I was thrilled to see this film tank, especially considering it basically had the thesis that our soldiers are the problem in the war. I don’t care if you criticize the politicians, but leave the soldiers out of the blame.
4. Lions for Lambs
Tom Cruise spearheaded this Robert Redford-directed talkfest to be the flagship for the United Artists relaunch. What a misfire! The movie didn’t just preach, it PREACHED and even shamed the audience for not doing more. The only saving grace is that the film was less than 90 minutes long… not that you’d know from sitting through it.
5. Kickin’ It Old Skool
Jamie Kennedy does it again, ruining the nostalgia of an entire generation. It shouldn’t surprise us that the guy who brought us Malibu’s Most Wanted and The Son of the Mask strikes again. This film isn’t even remotely funny. I hear that Jamie Kennedy’s own mother said it sucked, but that’s just a rumor.
6. Georgia Rule
If you didn’t think Lindsay Lohan’s career was over after making this stinker, we had the fact driven home with the turkey I Know Who Killed Me.
7. August Rush
I don’t mind a movie being manipulative at times, but to shamelessly push buttons that aren’t even necessary is uncalled-for. It was meant to be inspiring, but this musical prodigy flick just made me angry.
After flops like The Hills Have Eyes 2 and Hostel: Part II, Elisha Cuthbert came in and dealt the vital blow to extreme horror films. Who would have figured that it would take this long to kill torture porn?
9. Things We Lost in the Fire
While the acting was good and the film was competently shot, the moviemakers forgot to give us a plot with decent characters. Sure, Halle Berry is hot, but I got so tired of her whining. It wasn’t enough to make up for Perfect Stranger earlier in the year.
The argument may rage for years. Did Norbit kill Eddie Murphy’s shot at Oscar gold? I thought it could have been decent, but it was about as unfunny as a cold sore on prom night.